The increasingly curious journey of Vangelis’ Juno to Jupiter

Juno to JupiterThis may be more normal in the music industry than I expect, but the journey of Vangelis’ latest project continues to confound  (although referring it as ‘latest’ seems almost premature at this point- who knows, he may be releasing another album before Juno finally lands). Originally scheduled for digital release anytime between July and September last year, with a physical release a few months later in November, we’re still waiting. Well, some of us- a digital store inadvertently released the album in August over the weekend of the 7th, apparently in error. How they got hold of the music files (possibly a promotional copy?) could either be an interesting mystery or a mundane clerical error, but Decca and Vangelis’ team yelled foul and put a stop to it, citing an actual release date in September which never happened, nor later rumoured dates in December or January this year (including a vinyl release having an bonus track not on the digital or CD releases). Last week it transpired that even Amazon had gotten tired of the curious marketing dance, cancelling my CD pre-order.

I’ve been listening to the album since August, and its a great Vangelis album that everyone of his fans should be listening to, and I’m sure they will once they can actually buy it. I actually deleted the draft review I wrote up in September just in case I was the one jinxing it by some supernatural conjunction of the spheres (I’d written it hoping to post it on the albums release date, but hey, hope springs Eternal). I expect that Covid-related complications regards production might have something to do with it, as the Deluxe CD version is packaged with a book about the Juno mission, and its likely that its this book delaying things rather than something on the music side. I admit though to being curious after such a long delay as to whether Vangelis himself feels the inclination to revisit and revise the music in some way, but that’s surely a longshot (which would possibly mean those of us who purchased the digital version in August have something of a rarity).

So anyway, with no further rumoured release date in the air at all, we fans just need to wait awhile longer. But it is such a curious tale regards this release. Of course with everything going on in the world, there’s much more pressing things to get excited about, but Vangelis releases are so increasingly rare that we fans can only be more fascinated by Juno’s increasingly curious journey. I’ll post more news as it arises. There’s probably a major announcement due any day/week/month now. It does occur to me though, that it took the space probe five years from launch to eventually reach Jupiter, so who knows, maybe the maestro’s mirroring real-life space physics regards the journey-time of his album.  Isn’t that a sobering prospect.

I can only repeat its a fantastic album, and really, in all the years I’ve been buying Vangelis albums  I’ve known nothing quite like this (except, ominously, the ultimate no-show of the Polydor Blade Runner album advertised on that films end-credit crawl in 1982 that had me visiting record stores every week in vain).

 

9 thoughts on “The increasingly curious journey of Vangelis’ Juno to Jupiter

  1. MrSatyre

    Don’t forget his soundtrack to The Bounty with Mel Gibson, also advertised at the end of the film. I found a nicely packaged double CD promotional copy some years ago, but as far as I know, it has never been officially released; if it ever does, hopefully someone will re-engineer it, as my edition sound pretty mediocre at best, and downright painful at worst.

    1. Thanks for the comment! I’d never noticed that The Bounty featured an ad for a soundtrack on its end credits, I shall have to dig out my Blu-ray and check if its on that. I too have a copy of that 2-disc boot (there may be different editions, but I believe it was originally produced by the same people behind the first Blade Runner bootleg). I agree the sound wavers between mediocre and awful but the real frustration is that there is so much fine music on there that Vangelis has never deemed worthy of official release. That last track, ‘The Saga of HMS Bounty’ which is like a highlights suite that Vangelis just seems to play effortlessly, is one of the most mesmerising pieces of Vangelis, a beautiful musical essay that I am always surprised he never put on an album. Even if he deemed a full soundtrack pointless, that one track is worthy of inclusion on some anthology or ‘best-of’. His ‘Delectus’ box-set would have been an ideal place to have included that on a bonus disc with other unreleased film work.

  2. VANHOLSBEECK Marc

    In fact it happened more often. “Sauvage & Beau” has also an announcement for a soundtrack album in its end credits. In the early 1990s, V himself announced un an interview a new album to be released with “Symphony #3” as a title. And a few years later an oratorio with Montserat Caballe and her daughter was recorded, from which only “a prayer” on a Caballe compilation was ever released. A decade ago, it was said by direct collaborators that the Hope symphony/Qatar album had been re-recorded (envolving new recordings of Georgiu and choir) and even mastered. A making off documentary for the DVD was also made and done. Then nothing happened. This being said, AFAIK Juno album will be released later this year, and an anouncement will then be officially made by Decca.

    1. That does seem really quite wasteful and haphazard, I don’t understand why albums and DVDs would be prepared and then shelved after investing so much money in them, its not as if he’s at any risk of flooding the market (his old excuse during the 1980s). I do recall during his Arista days an album titled ‘Inner Data’ being mooted (part of his aborted ‘Direct’ series I expect) and there has always been talk about his ‘vault’ full of music. It would just be fascinating to fathom his thinking. Vangelis clearly doesn’t NEED to release anything, and he owes us nothing, but he could do a great deal of good releasing material with profits going to various charities.

      Thanks for the comment Marc. You’ll possibly be reading my Juno review someday this year, lol.

  3. elfworld

    I agree. This album is a huge improvement on most of the stuff Vangelis have done since CD3 of the special edition of the Bladerunner soundtrack (man, that one is great!). I really like it, except the operatic tracks. A Norwegian record store is selling the LP version online, or so they claim. But AFAIK, there has been no release since that accidental digital relase you refer to. Unless there are some news I haven’t caught up on.

    1. Hi Dan, yes the final release is just the same as the one that came out last August. I’d rather hoped that perhaps Vangelis was delaying it for a revision, having rethought the project but apparently not- it was probably all down to logistics (the vinyl still isn’t coming until next Spring so evidently there are still issues).

      If you’re interested, I did a post reviewing the album here- https://ghostof82.wordpress.com/2021/09/25/vangelis-juno-to-jupiter/

  4. Michael

    Funny at the time of the mysterious digital release this statement came out hinting that perhaps the music was not Vangelis. We fans were, like, now really….

    “Vangelis and his legal and artistic team warn the fans that they don’t know the exact nature of this music, although indeed the track list is correct.”

    1. Yes I don’t now what they were thinking coming out with that announcement. They should have just owned up to a scheduling mix-up or an enforced late change due to legal issues (I actually think it was some problem with the book; rights issues and other legal problems with authorisation, clearances etc for artwork, imagery and the essays from contributors). Besides, Vangelis could have used it to gauge reaction from fans who had the album download and maybe cannily tweaked it some more- I was a little disappointed the final release hasn’t been revised in any way.

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